So, in association with Cisco Smart Business Solutions, we recruited an advisory panel of more than 500 members of the UK's SMB community, 87% of whom run businesses of fewer than 50 people. In our second survey, we asked questions ranging from what motivates them, how they feel about their financial backers, where growth is coming from and what might get in its way. Which brings us to graduate recruitment: what do they think of the Government's attempts to get schools into shape?
- What is the most motivating aspect of SME life?
Being my own boss - 86.7%
- And the least motivating aspect of SME life?
Creating something I can hand on to my children - 94.3%
- Do you have a bank manager?
Yes - 77.9%
No - 22.1%
- Levels of optimism are very slightly up on the first quarter of the
year, with 63.0% saying they are either much more or a little more
optimistic for the next three months than for the last
- How would you describe your relationship with your bank manager?
Adequate - 24.7%
Good working relationship - 24.2%
I have no kind of relationship with them - 16.8%
Neutral - 15.3%
Unsatisfactory - 9.5%
Cordial and productive - 9.5%
- What is the biggest barrier to growth facing your business?
Winning profitable new business - 29.7%
Lack of availability of skilled and motivated employees - 24.6%
Lack of capital investment - 15.7%
Saying no to marginal new business - 9.3%
Competition from large corporates - 8.9%
- David Cameron gets a convincing thumbs-up as prime minister material -
56.3% would like him to be the nation's next leader, compared to only
31.1% for Gordon Brown
- In your experience, how well does the state education system equip
today's school leavers and graduates for the world of work?
Badly - 34.1%
Well - 12.2%
Very badly - 9.6%
Not at all - 4.4%
Very well - 1.8%
Superbly - 1.3%
- What impact does IT have on your staff?
Positive - it brings people together in a more effective network - 62.0%
Neutral - It's just a tool - 34.9%
Negative - it creates information overload - 3.1%
- Who are you and what do you do?
You are the boss - 75.8% of you describe yourself as CEO, proprietor,
partner or MD
You are young - 54.0% are under 45
52.8% of you work in either media, the service sector, IT or banking
Your firms are small but beautifully formed - 87.4% of you employ fewer
than 50 people
and 52.6% employ fewer than 10
26.0% of you are female